The Douglas Archives

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This year sees the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden Field.

The 1513 clash between the English and Scottish armies resulted in a catastrophic defeat for the Scots, the death of their king, James IV, and the end of their country as a major, independent power.

The northern kingdom never recovered from the disaster and within a century, the two crowns were unified, forming a link between the countries that remains unbroken – although, the quincentenary does comes just a year before a referendum on Scottish independence which could yet reverse those centuries old developments.

Among the ten thousand Scottish dead were all the leading men in the kingdom of Scotland, and there was no family of importance that had not lost a member in this great disaster. The “King’s Stone,” said to mark the spot where James was killed, is at some distance from the actual battlefield.

Scottish dead included twelve earls, fifteen lords, many clan chiefs an archbishop and above all King James himself. It is said that every great family in Scotland mourned the loss of someone at the Battle of Flodden. The dead were remembered in the famous Scottish pipe tune The Flowers of the Forest. 

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